Monday, June 18, 2012

War of 1812 - Today is the 200th Anniversary of the Declaration of War

Today - Monday, June 18, 2012 - marks the bicentennial of the declaration of war by the United States against Great Britain in the start of the War of 1812. You can see the actual declaration of war signed by President James Madison here at the National Archives Today's Document blog.

How will you commemorate this event in American history? Did you have ancestors who fought in the War of 1812? Have you discovered everything about their service including whether or not they or their family received a pension? War of 1812 pension records are rich in information for genealogists and family historians and can help identify family members who remain nameless in those pre-1850 US census pages!

Preserve the Pensions - Your Help Needed

One way you can help is to contribute to the Preserve the Pensions campaign! The goal of this effort organized by the Federation of Genealogical Societies is to digitize 7.2 million images in 180,000 War of 1812 pension files and make them available for FREE to the general public as well as researchers.  Click here to learn more about the project and how you can help. Or you can click here to donate now.

And check out the over 230,000 records digitized so far (only 3% of what will be digitized once enough money is raised) over at Fold3 ( - access is free!

Make Your Donation Go Further - ISGS $10,000 War of 1812 Pension Match Challenge

The Illinois State Genealogical Society - a member society of FGS - has just announced its ISGS $10,000 War of 1812 Pension Match Challenge which lets your donation to the Preserve the Pensions project actually digitize more of these records!  Your donation - of any size - will be matched by ISGS, dollar for dollar which means your $10 becomes $20.  On top of that, will match the overall total contributed through this challenge which means that $20 becomes $40!  ISGS has allotted $10,000 for this challenge and the campaign runs until the $10,000 goal is met or through December 31, 2012.

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